Sydney Roosters back rower Angus Crichton says that he and his side are looking forward to taking on the second-placed Panthers this Saturday night, buoyed by the impressive youngsters who have lit a fuse in their charge to the finals.
The Tricolours sit on equal points with fourth-placed Parramatta, who they defeated in a 28-nil shutout in Round 20, but the 25-year-old forward says that the side is concentrated on their task at hand this week as opposed to looking ahead at solidifying a top-four spot.
“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves, but we’re definitely stepping in the right direction,” he said.
“I feel like the way that we defended was a good step for us as a team, but we’ve got a long way to go.
“We’re just trying to win every single game that we can and they (Parramatta) were a top-four side and we knew it was a test for us. We knew that we were coming against a higher calibre team so to get that win was really pleasing."
Crichton is a player who certainly loves to challenge himself each and every week, so what better test than the second-placed Panthers on Saturday night - who no doubt will be hungry following a defeat to the Melbourne Storm.
Round 21 Media - Angus Crichton
Despite missing a number of key players, the State of Origin representative is far from convinced that Penrith will be easy-beats, and believe the Roosters can build on their recent form against one of the competition benchmarks.
“They’re going to be strong regardless of who is in their team,” Crichton stated.
“For us, it’s about playing our style of football and really attacking well, connecting with the guys around you and in defence fronting up and fighting fire with fire.
“It’s exciting. You love playing against the top teams in the competition because you can see where you’re at. The last couple of weeks we’ve been really building, and we just had a really good session on the field.
“I’ve got a lot of trust and faith in this side and I like the way that we’re training, going about it and the trajectory that we’re going on. It’ll be a good test for us.”
A shining light in 2021 for Easts has been the rise of the young brigade of up and comers, and Crichton says their newfound confidence after experiencing the rigours of first grade is coming to fruition as they head to the back-end of the regular season.
“The thing I’ve liked the most is seeing some of our young guys stepping up,” he said.
“They’re becoming a bit more confident and talking a bit more, and then you see a guy like Egan Butcher play some really good footy off the bench.
We all know that young guys coming into first-grade isn’t going to happen overnight – confidence is something you gain from training and then into games. We’ve seen guys grow and become more confident in their ability and we trust everyone and believe in everyone in our side.Angus Crichton On the younger contingent of players
"Seeing those guys find their feet in first grade, express themselves and play some really quality football takes the pressure off the big names so they can go and play their own style of football.
“We all know that young guys coming into first-grade isn’t going to happen overnight – confidence is something you gain from training and then into games. We’ve seen guys grow and become more confident in their ability and we trust everyone and believe in everyone in our side.
“That’s probably the most promising thing; seeing the younger guys step up and start leading through their actions."
With Platinum Partner Unibet giving up their place on the famous jersey to Gotcha4Life - avid Roosters fan and media personality Gus Worland's not-for-profit organisation - Crichton believes it is of the utmost importance that the Club has raised awareness for mental health.
“Mental health is a massive talking point in today’s society,” he said.
“For the Club to promote mental health and talking to your mates, especially in a time like 2021 where everyone is in lockdown, it’s good to promote connecting and talking to your friends and letting them know they’re not alone.
“It’s a very important message.”
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